Piers Morgan Tonight

Before he assumed the Larry King spot on CNN earlier this week my only exposure to Piers Morgan was through his appearance on the celebrity version of The Apprentice. While that show was a showcase for essentially all that is wrong with humanity, and so perhaps not a fair environment in which to make judgments about its participants, Morgan came off a prat even amongst company like Gene Simmons and Stephen Baldwin, which is an accomplishment.

So, suffice to say, I didn’t have high hopes for Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN: I assumed it would be a cross between TMZ, Access Hollywood and Larry King Live.

It is not.

The new show is simple: an one-hour interview with a single guest. It has more in common with The Dick Cavett Show than with Larry King Live.

Morgan asks interesting questions, sometimes unpredictable ones. He is kind to his guests, but not fawning (well, he was fawning with Oprah, his first guest, but he can be forgiven that). He does not try to be hip or “with it”  (see George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight) and he does not appear to have any designs on reinventing the chat show format.

The result is oddly-compelling television: last night’s hour with Ricky Gervais (ignore the first couple of minutes of mindless prattle) was entirely unlike the standard 7 or 8 minute “so, apparently you’re into ice cream sundaes!” late night show. It wasn’t quite Charlie Rose, but if you watch the 2004 interview Rose did with Gervais, I’d argue that Piers Morgan’s interview was better television.

The key to enjoying Piers Morgan Tonight is to completely ignore the CNN hype machine that surrounds it: if only CNN showed the same minimalist approach to promoting the show that they have in designing the show and its set it would feel a lot less like getting hit over the head repeatedly with a Piers Morgan hammer in the hours leading up to the show, and likely more viewers would tune in.


x's picture
x on January 22, 2011 - 00:27 Permalink

i’m kinda glad he’s finding success in America, but only because it means we don’t have to suffer him on our screens here in Britain.

it was very hard for me to refrain from using expletives when referring to him.

jason's picture
jason on March 25, 2011 - 04:07 Permalink

so with in recent events, we have seen some political remarks such as lybias defence and japans disasters. but to put it into perspective. what i beleive we need to do is stop pointing fingers and start doing something. why is obama getting blamed we need to take charge and take down lybias defence and get them squared away. Put your self in lybias shoes the people obviously feel “taken over”. Ask your self (What if i didnt have a choice?) Really. so we need to be the leaders that we have been sought out to be. Remember we are all equal thats what makes this country so great and for us to give up in what ever way is in my opinion “cowardly” so lets stand as a nation and get in there and stop this once for all. wheres the peace? in all this. and why is there so many dictations. its not that hard. figure it out. because if you put it like this. if libia came over here. we would not stand for that. but since its somewhere else we can just “let it go”. there are innocent people at stake. scared for there lives. and i know obama can make this change along with Mrs. clinton. “me” as an american citizen….I beleive in this country and beleive we can take the “bull by the horns” and set everything stright. so lets come together and “fight” for whats right and to get things right…. this is just an opinion Hopefully one that matters……Who knows?

Dennis's picture
Dennis on April 20, 2011 - 10:02 Permalink

I just watched your interview of that greedy Fienberg character from BP. He was bragging about distributing $3.8B to 200,000 people. Simple math proves, from the words from his own mouth, that BP has paid an AVERAGE of $190.00 per victim. Being an average,it is safe to surmise that some of those 200,000 people received even less than that pitiful amount while he shows absolutely no guilt or remorse regarding the $1,500,000 MONTHLY SALARY FIENBERG IS RECEIVING.
Mr. Morgan, you did attempt to push him to deal with these issues, but you pushed weakly and allowed him to control the interview. Additionally, one of your assistants should have done the math and presented the $190.00 compensation amount average to you before the interview was completed. Being such a simple calculation, I did it in my head as soon as the numbers were quoted, and was quite surprised when you didn’t even mention it.
Regarding that phenomenal pay-raise, how often does any company, in this case, an oil company, from the greediest industry in the world, give money away, especially in the amount his raise alone equals. Fienberg had to demand an amount through his negotiators and then accept the counter”offer” from BP. In labour wage negotiations, the employee bids high and allows themself to be dickered down to what the employee and employer finally agree to. This begs the question, HOW MUCH DID FIENBERG ORIGINALLY DEMAND FOR HIS RAISE?!
I know from my own experience, when one makes their first bid to the employer, generally, the bid is as high as the employee thinks can be considered marginally reasonable to allow bartering room.
In my opinion, consumers should, and I will, boycott BP and all of the companies they sell products to.

Thank you Mr. Morgan for your kind attention.